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Topend Sports Newsletter: 5 Feb 2021

What's in store for sports and fitness in 2021?

You would be brave to try and predict what is going to happen in sport this year. I have just finished a review of the year in sport, an extraordinary year mostly shaped by coronavirus. Many events were canceled or at least postponed, then played without spectators. So far in 2021, it looks like this may continue for ... who knows how long??

There were still some sporting highlights for 2020, including Rafael Nadal's 20th Grand Slam, Liverpool winning the premier league for the first time since 1990, the Chiefs first Super Bowl win in 50 years, the Australian women cricketers winning the T20 World Cup in front of 86,000 people, and Sarah Fuller becoming the first woman to score in a college football conference game. Take our poll and let us know what was your highlight - was it one of these or something else?

body shapeswhat is your future like?

As we head into 2021, what will be the post-pandemic new normal for sports? Considering the impact already on sporting events, do we need a new "pandemic proof" sport - a team sport which keeps players separate by the correct social distance and with no balls passing from one person to another? There are plenty of individual sports that fit the bill, but is there such a team sport already? There's a section on Topend Sports for submitting new sports, I'm just waiting for one of these to take off.

In terms of fitness testing, how will things change? The last year has shown that it's possible for many people to work online, and for the coaches and sports scientists, there already is the technology to do remote training and fitness assessments. With challenges comes innovation. Players were not able to fly in for the AFLW national combine, so they were required to submit their own 2km run times, logged using the Strava app. It was difficult to control for different conditions, but it was a step in the right direction.

Body composition testing usually requires physical contact, especially when using the common skinfold method, but there are alternatives if we need to maintain social distancing. The visual body fat assessment (using charts like in the image above) can be used to estimate body fat levels, though you can get more accurate results using computer algorithms to analyse photos.

2020 will undoubtedly go down in history as a significant moment in this changing world, and a turning point for many things, including the world of sports and fitness.

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